5 Business Quotes to Inspire Your Small Enterprise
If you run a small business, you’ll know that the support of friends and family can make a world of difference. You may have mentor to turn to, or a friend who has run their own startup. You may seek business advice from your peers, or gain motivation from satisfied customers. Encouragement like this is excellent – but inspiration is a different thing entirely. It helps you to reach higher than you may have originally intended. It allows you to turn your thinking around, and innovate in ways you may not have thought was possible.
Lesson 1: Believe in What You Do
The quote: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO, Apple
Takeaway: When it comes to running a small enterprise, enthusiasm and drive are everything – Steve Jobs should know, as the Apple company started out in his parents’ garage. It’s not just about believing in your product or service. It’s about being truly passionate about what you do. As Jobs points out, your work is going to take up a huge segment of your life, so make sure you enjoy it. If you don’t, tweak the way that things are done until you do. Continue to adapt and innovate until you’re satisfied. Remember, it’s your startup, and you’re the boss.
Lesson 2: See Mistakes as Learning Curves
The quote: “It’s important to be willing to make mistakes. The worst thing that can happen is that you become memorable.” Sarah Blakely, Founder of Spanx, Inc.
Takeaway: Note self-made billionaire Blakely’s use of the word ‘willing’. There’s a difference between making mistakes by accident, and accepting the fact that you most likely will make them. Starting up your own small business is about giving it all you’ve got, and realising that no company is made perfect. Be ready for the mistakes, experiment with different methods of doing business and embrace trial and error until you perfect them. Failure doesn’t have to be a dirty word.
Lesson 3: Good Leaders Help Others Progress
The quote: “Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook and founder of Leanin.org
Takeaway: A business is made by its people, and being a good leader is often part and parcel of being a small business owner. If you do have staff, nurture their talent, invest your time and money in their career, and help them progress. This will fortify their loyalty and grow their confidence and efficiency. Not only will their job satisfaction sky rocket, but their improved performance will help your startup to succeed.
Lesson 4: You Shouldn’t Be Ruled by Money
The quote: “If we were motivated by money, we would have sold the company a long time ago and ended up on a beach.” Larry Page, Co-Founder of Google, Inc.
Takeaway: This is good advice from a co-founder of one of the world’s most famous startups: don’t go into business solely to make money. Your vision should be bigger than that. Think of how your brand provides value to its customers. Consider your USPs, and the difference your small enterprise is making. Stay focused on what you want to achieve, and don’t lose sight of that original dream or idea. All of this should motivate you more than just making money.
Lesson 5: Make the Difficult Times an Incentive to Work Harder
The quote: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill, British Prime Minister
Takeaway: OK, this quote isn’t about running small businesses per se, but if anyone was poised well enough to offer advice like this, it’s Winston Churchill. What these wise words tell us is that successes are all the more rewarding when you’ve been through hell and back to achieve them. And anyone who has got a startup off the ground knows that success doesn’t come easily. Don’t let this be a deterrent. Make it an incentive to work harder. Most companies worth their salt have succeeded through pure perseverance. If this means soldiering on in times of trouble, so be it. Tackle problems head on, and come out the other end smiling.
Do you have any other small business quotes or mantras worth sharing? Tweet us: @TravelersUK